Today, I’m reviewing My Obsession, by Cassie Ryan, as part of the Tasty Book Tour Virtual Tour. I was given a free copy of this book by NetGalley, in exchange for this honest review. There’s also a giveaway for two mugs and a selection of ebooks!
In this story of temptation and total surrender for readers of Sylvia Day and J. Kenner, a powerful master gives his dream girl a new beginning in the dungeons of decadent ecstasy.
Running from a troubled past, Sandra Barry spent years hiding out in New York City’s BDSM scene, finding satisfaction and even a sense of community as a sub at a large dungeon. But when a stalker joins the dungeon posing as a Dom, he crosses her personal boundaries, giving her no choice but to return home to Arizona. Seeking refuge once again in the kink lifestyle, Sandra meets a sexy new Dom whose tutelage drives her wild—although there’s something familiar about him she just can’t place.
As a teenager, Brent Weston was a nerd. Now he owns the hottest dungeon in Phoenix, enjoying the power and success he’s always craved. All that’s missing is the right woman to share it with. Then one day Sandra, his secret high school crush, walks into his club. She’s just as beautiful as he remembers. She’s also scared as hell. Brent has been waiting for this moment, and now that Sandra’s in his sights, he’ll do anything to protect her, pleasure her—and prove that he’s the only master worthy of her devotion.
“We have cameras in all of the common areas. There’s no crime in watchingespecially here.” He looked away, but not before Sandra caught sight of the smoldering heat in his gaze. She wondered what angle the camera captured and how much of the specifics he’d seen while she was in the waiting room. . . . She supposed it didn’t matter. There was no disguising what she’d done. And if it caused the kind of searing look she’d just seen in Master Brent’s eyes, she was glad he saw her, and wouldn’t mind showing him again in person.
He continued, “Here, most things legal and consensual are possible. And there are those of us who like to watch.” His quick conspiratorial wink surprised a smile from her before she could stop it.
“Watching is one of my particular favorites, which is why I designed the basement levels this way.” He shrugged nonchalantly. “I was lucky the corporation who owned this site before I bought it had already done quite a bit of blasting and excavating down into the mountain for whatever project they were planning. It was still incredibly expensive to clear enough space for four full basement levels, but I think you’ll see that the final result was more than worth it.”
A soft chiming had her looking around for the source of the sound.
Master Brent turned the key in the panel and then slid the key back out, pocketing it as the doors whooshed open.
Sandra looked out into dark gloom, and fear snaked along her spine, tensing every muscle and kicking adrenaline and the urge to flee through her system. She backed up, hugging the wall of the elevator as if it were a lifeline.
What had she done? She’d come down here with a man she barely knew, and she was alone.
Alone, but not helpless. She raised her chin and mentally firmed her resolve. She wasn’t helpless. Never again. She’d sworn that to herself when she’d left Phoenix after high school to take NYU up on their full scholarship.
She took deep breaths and sighed as the fear slowly receded.
Brent must have noticed her discomfort because he murmured, “I’m sorry. Let me get the lights. Basement 4 probably wasn’t the best place for us to start, but I wanted to show you the setup.”
“It’s all right. Really,” she mumbled as she heard his footsteps head off to the right. She forced herself to take a few steps forward to at least look out of the elevator before the doors closed and sealed her inside. She gripped the side of the door and peered into the gloom, looking both to her left and right.
A small row of lights snaked along the floor, like the kind you would find in a movie theater. Just bright enough to help you find your way.
From the pattern of the lights, the hallway curved around on both sides, and made a giant circle.
She could imagine the floor above with a large circular gallery allowing members to look down and watch whatever was going on down here on the Big Top of Basement 4.
A spotlight flared to life to her left and she blinked hard, letting her eyes adjust. The light centered over a St. Andrew’s cross and a large nearby table with drawers underneath.
Another spotlight to the right of the first blinked on and showed a set of hanging bondage hooks suspended from large beams. Chains and various rings hung from the beams off to either side of the hooks, just waiting for various types of play.
More spotlights flickered on in quick succession. Without leaving the elevator, she really couldn’t see what each play area held.
She huffed at her ridiculous fears and forced herself forward, heading to the right, where Master Brent had gone.
As she followed the curving path, play areas were sectioned off on her left. As she advanced they became larger, and the equipment more ominous. She spotted a spanking horse, a set of stocks like those she imagined would be found in a medieval town to punish the disobedient and lawbreakers, a few bondage beds and tables, and even a hot tub with bondage hooks and various large rings suspended over it.
She’d seen equipment like this at the other dungeon, but unease pricked along her spine at the possibilities of what could go on down here. Master Brent had said most things legal were fair game, but she knew that even legal things could encompass a very wide range of kink.
The imagery of being a fairy princess carried off to her doom returned, and she shivered as she remembered her silent wish for an erotic doom. But oddly, even with the ominous assortment of equipment down here, she suspected Master Brent would turn any play erotic and fun.
The thought stopped her and she turned to face the play area on her left. A spanking bench was positioned next to what looked suspiciously like a coffin, and several electronic devices she couldn’t even begin to identify.
Just what went on down here under the superexclusive Big Top?
My Obsession by Cassie Ryan is a very steamy romance, and one that I greatly enjoyed. It’s the story of Sandra Barry, a relative newbie to the BDSM scene, who’s fled New York because of a stalker, and Brent Weston – Master Brent – the owner of Club Desire, a BDSM dungeon in Phoenix, where Sandra has just become a member.
But there’s more to them than that – they went to high school together, and while Brent vividly remembers Sandra, and wanting to be with her, she only thinks he’s vaguely familiar but can’t quite place him.
The relationship between them develops with an interesting combination of speed and steadiness. The physical relationship progresses much more quickly than the emotional one, which would be expected, given the circumstances under which they meet again. The physical chemistry between them is off the charts, and the emotional connection, while slower to develop, is just as incredible and equally as satisfying.
I was particularly intrigued by Sandra’s stalker – the circumstances that surrounded how he met her, and the things he did in stalking her. If I had to find a flaw with this book, it would be that I wanted there to be more suspense and more about the stalking. I felt I was missing a little of the fear and terrorizing that I expected, given the attention the stalking was given in the blurb about the book.
But even that is only a minor flaw, and while it was a bit disappointing for me, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story. There was still enough about the stalking, and the stalker did make an appearance that made it interesting.
Seeing Sandra overcome her fears – both from the stalking and from other issues in her past – was heartwarming, and it increased the chemistry between her and Brent. Watching Brent struggle to find the right time to tell her that they knew each other from school was both frustrating and moving.
The sex was hot and while it definitely went outside plain “vanilla” sex, it did so in a way that made sense, wouldn’t be too uncomfortable for someone unfamiliar with BDSM, and didn’t seem to be completely gratuitous.
Overall, I’d give this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars.
Find My Obsession and the entire Club Desire series on Goodreads.
Cassie Ryan (aka Tina Gerow) started her career writing steamy paranormal romance under another pen name. However, when one of her critique partners suggested she try her hand at contemporary romance, she gave it a shot—and Cassie Ryan was officially born. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and besides being a write-a-holic, is a frequent speaker on several writing and motivational topics.
Loveswept is hosting this giveaway, where you can win:
One Loveswept Mug
One Flirt Mug
Ebook copies of:
- CLAIMED by Stacey Kennedy
- MY OBSESSION by Cassie Ryan
- DEEP AUTUMN HEAT by Elisabeth Barrett
- TAKE THE FALL by Marquita Valentine
- YOUR TO KEEP by Serena Bell
- SWEET THE SIN by Claire Kent
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You can follow the rest of the tour here, to read more reviews, guests posts and interviews with Cassie Ryan.